The Snow leopards are the large cats inhabiting mostly the mountains of central and south Asia. They are distributed in mountains of countries like Siberia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, and Tibet. Only an estimated 3500 – 7000 Snow Leopards inhabit the wilds; while 600 -700 remain in captivity in zoos around the world. The IUCN has classified them as endangered due to habitat loss, global warming, and poaching. They reside in alpine and sub-alpine zones. As a result, they’re often located between 3000 and 4500 meters above sea level (9800 – 14800 ft).
Snow Leopard Encounter in Nepal is possible in the northern frontiers of Nepal. The mountain protected areas of Nepal namely Annapurna Conservation Area, Shey Phuksundo National Park, Kangchenjunga Conservation Area, Manaslu Conservation Area, Makalu Varun National Park, Sagarmatha National park, Api Nampa Conservation Area, and Langtang National park are the habitat for these Himalayan cats in Nepal. There are an estimated 350 – 500 snow leopards in Nepal.
See for yourself if all that you have read and watched on the internet, about the tranquil beauty of Nepal and warm hospitality of Nepalese. After flying through the beautiful view of these trekkers; paradise, you will meet our company representative at the airport. You must have an impatient heart for a breathtaking adventure. Get ready to experience Nepal up close and personal. But first, we will transfer you to your hotel.
If you have an early arrival, you may stroll around the hippest and happening area in Thamel, where you can find restaurants with varieties of cuisine to dine. This first night in the country, you will be staying in Kathmandu.
On your second day, you can go sightseeing to some of the famous religious and historical sites of Kathmandu. After exploring this city of temples; you will meet your tour guide at the hotel. You will be briefed in detail about the wildlife adventure. The guide will also assist you with any last-minute shopping that you require for the safari.
Have a well-rested night at Kathmandu before heading off to the wildlife.
(You can dump the stuff you do not want during the trek at the hotel or our office store.)
After a good morning meal you will be traveling to Besisahar, the entry point of Annapurna Circuit Trekking. A private van will be waiting for you at the hotel parking hop on and get ready to ride. Once you leave Kathmandu Valley through the check post at Nagdhunga, the ride will be exciting. The road might be bumpy with lots of twists and turns.
However, the eagerness for adventure and the views of the hills, forests, and terraced farmlands will make it a noteworthy experience. Pulling over occasionally for tea/coffee, snacks and toilet break you will drive through Dhading, Chitwan, Tanahu districts to reach Lamjung. 6-7 hours of this fun-filled ride will take you to Besisahar. You can spend the rest of the evening taking a rest and preparing for the next day.
Wake up early in the morning, enjoy the breakfast at the lodge and resume the ride to Chame. Today you will drive for 7-8 hours on Besisahar -Chame Highway along Marsyangdi River. Following the river, the road will lead you through Upper Marsyandhi Hydropower Project to Bhulbhule (820 m). If the weather favors then you can get your first glance of the mountains from Bhulbhule. The glimpse of Ngadi Chuli (7,871 m) Himal Chuli North (7,331 m) and Himal Chuli (7,893 m) will definitely entice you for more. Ride through Bahundanda stopping over at Chamche waterfall for some clicks.
Ride through the stone entrance at Dharapani (1,810 m) to beautiful villages and serene forests of pine and oak. Along with the miraculous views of Mt. Manaslu, Lamjung Himal and Annapurna II where the Himalayan Cats live. On the way, you will see the long wall with prayer wheels at Danakyu (2,220 m). Riding through the village of Timang (2,620 m), Thanchok (2,660 m) and Koto (2,660 m) you will reach Chame.
On this day you will ride to Manang which will take 2-3 hours. This day in Manang is perfect to wear off your travel exhaustion and prepare for the trek. While at Manang, you can spend your day exploring the village of Manang and experience their unique culture and lifestyle. Gurungs and Ghales are the inhabitants of Manang. These people depend on tourism and agriculture for their livelihood. However, the cold climate limits them to cultivate only wheat, barley, buckwheat, potatoes, and beans.
If you want to spend the rest day without doing much walking then there are places like Manang Cultural Museum, Bodzo Gumba, and cafes with better food options and internet.
After Pisang, we have alternate paths at north and south of the Marsyangdi River that meet up again at Mungji. The southern route by Hongde, with its airstrip, at 3325m involves less climbing than the northern route via Ghyaru, despite the fact that there are better views on the trail that follows the northern bank of the river. From Mungji, the trail continues past the quaint but partially hidden village of Bryanga at 3475m to nearby Manang at 3500m.
Walking along the valley through the drier upper part of Manang (the unofficial trekking capital of the Annapurna Circuit) we can view Annapurna range. People of this area herd yaks and raise crops for leaving, besides this during winter they move to other places for trades.
Our main tracking trail would be:
After the completion of our trip of Encountering Snow Leopard, we will return back to Besisahar by private 4WD Jeep.
After this wonderful trip, you will drive back to Kathmandu from Besisahar
Once you reach Kathmandu you will check-in at a nice hotel around the Thamel area. At the evening you can stroll around for souvenir shopping, drinks, and dinner. Walking around Thamel and nearby areas for shopping and self-exploring the narrow streets of this tourist hub is a good idea to spend your evening in Kathmandu.
We will drop you to the airport according to your flight schedule. Tiger Encounter hopes to take you to another exciting wildlife safari in Nepal soon.
Manang is located in the Himalayan region of the Western part of Nepal where the snow leopard encounter is done. To reach there you should travel from Kathmandu to Besisahar to Chame to Manang in 3 days with 6 to 8 hours a day.
Best physical condition is required to trek in Nepal’s high altitude. Without some pre-trek training or a good level of basic fitness, it can be hard. We suggest running, walking, hiking on the hill, climbing stairs rather than elevators to prepare for the trek. Include swimming, rowing, biking in your daily base training.
Basic further experience and strength required for Trekking
The snow leopards have thick light grey fur with a black spot on the head and neck. Their tails are bushy and long while the legs are short, making them slightly smaller than other wild cats. The short legs are powerful enough to leap and jump as far as 50 feet. Likewise, the long bushy tails are useful for balancing and covering sensitive parts against severe mountain chills. They are about 22 inches tall and 30 – 59 inches long weighing between 22 – 55 kg however some large males have been recorded weighing up to 75 kg. They have 1.13 inches long pointed teeth.
The Snow leopards are highly adaptive to their habitat in the cold mountains. Their ears are small and round to minimize heat loss. Likewise, their paws are aboard to balance the bodyweight for walking on snow. Similarly, their thick fur patterned with dark rosettes and spots is the perfect camouflage for their rocky habitat. The long dense and woolly fur also protects them from cold. They also use their bushy tails as a blanket while resting.
The snow leopards are an opportunist and feed on carrion as well. However, these carnivorous cats actively hunt their prey. They are capable of killing most of the animals in their range. They pursue the prey down the steep mountainsides. Using the momentum of their leap they kill with a bite on the neck and drag the prey to a safer location to eat.
Their natural prey is Himalayan tahr, Himalayan blue sheep, wild goats, etc. They usually prefer prey weighing 36 to 76 kg but also hunt smaller mammals. Other species such as wild boar, red panda, and snowcock also become their prey sometimes. They eat all the edible parts of their prey and can survive on one Himalayan tahr for two weeks. Due to the loss of prey animals in their natural habitat, they also feed on domestic livestock resulting in conflict with the herders. They hunt in pairs, especially during mating season.
Snow leopards reach their sexual maturity at the age of two to three. They normally live for 15-18 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity. They usually mate in a mate in late winters; the mating seasons are short so, the male does not seek out another partner. They mate 12 to 36 times a day. The gestation period is 90-100 days and the litter size varies from one to five cubs. These younger snow leopards are open their eyes after almost 7 days of birth and can walk when they are five. They are born with a thick coat of fur and have full black spots that turn into rosettes as they grow.
The cubs remain with their mother for almost 18-22 months. After being independent they distance themselves to seek out new hunting grounds. The gestation period is 90-100 days and the litter size varies from one to five cubs. These younger snow leopards are open their eyes after almost 7 days of birth and can walk when they are five. They are born with a thick coat of fur and have full black spots that turn into rosettes as they grow. The cubs remain with their mother for almost 18-22 months. After being independent they distance themselves to seek out new hunting grounds.
This is a pre-booking form for the lead traveler. We would send you the actual booking form after the confirmation
Thank you Tiger Encounter team for another great experience in beautiful Nepal. We had amazing memories in Mt. Everest & Chitwan! We did wildlife safari, jeep safari, bird watching, village tour & cultural program. You are super professional, knowledgeable. Strongly recommend.
We went on a wildlife safari tour operated by Tiger Encounter last May 2019. It was a great experience for the whole family our kids were very excited to see animals out in the wild.
Walking along with the wild that shelters varieties of birds and animals felt amazing. Very organized and fun wildlife tour.
Tiger Encounter made our tiger encounter possible. On tiger tracking day two we saw the beautiful beast come out to drink it has an incredible experience. Waiting for almost two days on the blazing heat of May was really worth it!!
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